I was chatting via e-mail with a friend of mine about writing. I was telling her some of the personal benefits I hoped to see after committing myself to four weeks of daily blogging. We discussed writer’s block and she said that her greatest block is that she self censors. I started to write back to her, but then decided my thoughts may as well be a blog post. I’ll just send her a link.
I would wager that I have easily highlighted and deleted hundreds of thousands of words in the eight years that I have blogged and worked on side projects. My backspace key stands out among the rest because it is extra shiny and now says, “B ksp ce.”
Much of my deleting comes from when I write full paragraphs and then start to over think what my most likely reader might think of what I have written. Too preachy? Delete. Not preachy enough? Delete. Too shallow, too political, too tacky? Delete. Am I maybe writing something that I should be saying to one person, but am instead copping out with a blog post? Delete.
I’ve enjoyed the exercise of daily writing because it has forced my hand to pause longer over the backspace key. It has made me think less of who might read it and more about why I want to write it. Making myself post daily has also taken from me the opportunity to only publish the things I feel are well written and perfectly edited. I have to enter the dog show with whatever mutt I’ve got on hand and it has helped me to appreciate the unique showmanship of even the mutt breeds.
I have a lot of friends who should be writing. You may be one of them. If you know what I am talking about when I say that you can write five hundred words and have only a blank screen and a flashing cursor to show for it, then I would like for this post to encourage you to sit down and write for a bit with no deleting. Just do it. Leave me a comment with a link to your blog if you think you’d like to try a four week challenge. I’d be happy to read along.
I wrote a good deal of this post with Eric staring over my shoulder and I feel you should know that. Even though he swears he wasn’t reading along, I could feel the stare. That kind of behavior will block any writer. AmIright?